On Monday 6th July 2005 I, like many millions of others, went to bed feeling an immense sense of proud and excitement – albeit tinged with more than a little apprehension. In what would prove to be seven short years, London was to host the Olympic Games. The following day, a day that should have been about celebration, the joy of the night before was suddenly replaced with shock, fear and revulsion as 52 innocent lives were lost, and many more devastated, in the 7/7 bombings.
As a side note, two years later I met a senior paramedic from the London Ambulance Service who said that he had been at a conference on the 6th July, talking about major incidents that might occur in London. He himself had stood up at this event and said that the likelihood of a bombing on the tube was so small that it need not be considered. Not one person present disagreed with him. Less than 24 hours later he was crawling under a blown-up tube train at Aldgate.
Over the hours and days that followed it quickly became clear that the people of London, and indeed the wider UK, would not allow the actions of terrorists to intimidate them. The pride, excitement and anticipation returned with a vengeance.
They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and London is certainly stronger now than it has ever been. London 2012 was an event that celebrated the tolerant, multi-cultural and above all great country in which I live. So, I will choose to remember the Olympics, the good times, rather than the actions of four lunatic terrorists.
Photo credit: © Spectrumoflight | Dreamstime.com - Olympic Torch London 2012 Photo